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Old 02-17-2009, 06:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Heli turbine manufacturers

Hi guys;
I'm curious; does anyone know if there are, or ever been, any North American manufacturers of heli turbines, either single or two stage?
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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There have been two US-based turbine manufacturing companies, one of which is still in existence.

The one which is no longer around is RA Microjets (RAM). They got into turbines in the late 1990s, when things were just starting. Jesus Artes, the co-designer of the pioneering KJ66 turbine, licensed them to produce it as the RAM 750, then a more powerful version as the RAM 1000. They bought the critical parts (wheels etc) from Spain and made the engines in Florida. When we came out with the MW54 design in 1999 they asked for a licence for this also, and produced it as the RAM 500 with critical parts bought from us in the UK. The company failed in 2002, primarily because the guys behind it weren’t engineers but model fliers, they both had careers outside RAM and although their factory had full-time workers the owners were only part-time. I believe the venture cost them money rather than making it.

The other company is AMT USA. This started out in Europe, in the Netherlands and there is still a well-respected turbine company called AMT Netherlands. I believe that one of the founding partners of AMT moved to the USA and set up a company to make the engines out there, in parallel with the ones in Europe, but there was a disagreement and the two companies split several years ago. The Netherlands one is “Advanced Micro Turbines” and still owned and run by the original owner. The USA one changed the name but kept the initials ( American MicroTurbines or something) but it has changed hands a couple of times in the last few years and recently re-branded itself as US Microjet. They haven’t produced much for the modeller for years but apparently they are working with the military.

There are still RAM and AMT USA jet engines in use and advertised on the secondhand market.

Both these companies produced only jets. RAM were hoping to do our helicopter engine under licence and Roger and Mike took the prototype helicopter with the 54 heli engine over to Florida in September 01. They had to leave it behind, as they were booked to fly back on 9/11 and when they finally got a flight home a week later they couldn’t take the heli box. It was eventually shipped back to us with parts of the airframe missing, it became obvious to us within the next few months that RAM had financial problems and so the project never went any further.

Sara Parish
Wren Turbines

Last edited by Sara; 02-18-2009 at 09:24 AM..
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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WOW, great detail. Thanks ever so much Sara.
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